Sunday, August 13, 2017

are you ready to take a break?

Here’s how this week’s goals panned out:
1) Contact the media person and then three more places for book signings and / or readings. Emailed the media person. Twice. I think I am going to just relax and not worry about it until I get my own supply of books to sell. All the experts will say that is the wrong approach, that you and your book have to hit the ground running. But  - bleah – I’m just going to take a break anyway.  
2) Email everyone (within reason) on my contact list, reminding them about my new novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, and asking them to write a review for it on Amazon if they’ve had a chance to read it. And offering to email them a free copy of it if they would write that review. Have emailed 32 people, only up to the K’s. Have gotten two responses. Only one review yet on Amazon, but someone did praise it on Faceebook and she got two responses to that.  
3) Write 1,000 words on the new novel. Wrote 1,495 words!
4) There are three places I’d like to submit to in the next few months, so I should work on those. Nope, didn’t write any of them.  
5) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Scanned sixteen.  
b. Wash five of my house’s windows. Washed two, but they were the biggest ones! (The attached pictures of those windows are from years ago.)
c. Finish reading “On Writing” by Stephen King. I am going to count this as done. I couldn’t sleep last night, so got up and read the last real chapter. I had already read Furthermore #2 and Furthermore #1 is too technical to rush through.  
d. Repack all our Kenya merchandise. Done.   


This coming week, as already mentioned, I am going to take a break. It’ll have been a month since “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” has been available on-line. Perhaps I could be doing more here at home to promote it at this point, but I think it may be time to let it rest, wait until I get my copies in my hot little hands. Give this whole marketing thing a fresh start by the end of the month.

So what will I do this week: 
1)    Continue monitoring the situation on “Where the Sky Meets the Sand” – returning emails and Facebook messages from interested parties and naturally jumping if I hear from a venue which I have already contacted.
2)    Stop checking the book’s ranking on Amazon several times a day. Stop beating myself up if it continues to slip. It will jump back up once the paper version is out.
3)    Write three thousand words on the new novel.
4)    Pick a better working title for the new novel. I have waffled between “The Novitiate” and “The Abbey” and “The Big House”, but none of them does anything for me. In my head, sometimes I call it “Where the River Runs Red”, but not only has that already been done, it’s almost too close to my first novel. I will think on it.
5) There are three places I’d like to submit to in the next few months, so I should        work on those things:          
a) poem using book titles, Aug 15 deadline, which I need to write today if I’m going to
b) reflection for work calendar, Sept 15 deadline
                         c) poem on aging, Oct 20 deadline
6) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Wash four more of my house’s windows. Have washed only two of them and have a total of nine left by the end of the month. Physically, I can’t wash more than a few a day.  
c. Find a relaxing book to read and read it!
How are your goals coming along? Swimmingly? Or is it time for you to take a break too?

Have a great last few weeks of summer.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

how did my goals fare?

Yesterday, we had a sale for our nonprofit, Tumaini Volunteers. It was quite successful. Rain had been in the forecast, but it turned out to be a warm, sunny day. We were in a town where we’d never had a sale before, so it was good to meet lots of new people, hand out lots of business cards, make over $300 and be invited back for next year.

How did the rest of my goals fare?

Once again, the reason for writing down my goals and highlighting my progress. I really felt that I did nothing this week, yet look at this. Green highlight is goal accomplished. Yellow highlight is at least worked on. Red print is a total failure.

1) Print out another copy of my Press Kit. Done.
2) Contact three more places for book signings and / or readings. No, but here’s why. Early in the week, my publisher sent me the email address for the company’s media person. I emailed her, telling her what I’ve done so far and asking what help she can give me moving forward. I have not heard back from her. That seems to be the modus operandi of this publisher – not returning emails in what I consider a timely fashion. Or it could be how most publishers operate and I was just spoiled by my first publisher who returned any email within hours, even on weekends.
3) I’m gonna try writing 1,000 words on the new novel this week. I wrote 1,053 words. Wow, I didn’t realize how close that was.
4) Continue posting a plug for the new novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, on all my social media. Have a little bit. Want to quit before I become annoying.
5) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer. Scanned 13 of them.
b. Finish reading “On Writing” by Stephen King. Looking at where the bookmark is, it doesn’t appear that I’ve read much of it this week, but I swear that I opened it every day.
c. Host a sale for the nonprofit. I forgot to write down this goal last week, so thought I would take credit for it now.

Last night, an old friend sent me one of those stupid “thinking of you, sending love and electronic flowers” impersonal crappy things on Facebook. So I messaged her back, saying we need to get together, so without thinking we made plans for today. Life is way too short to worry about some list of goals. People gotta come first.

But this is what I am gonna do in the coming week:
1) Contact the media person and then three more places for book signings and / or readings.
2) Email everyone (within reason) on my contact list, reminding them about my new novel, “Where the Sky Meets the Sand”, and asking them to write a review for it on Amazon if they’ve had a chance to read it. And offering to email them a free copy of it if they would write that review.
3) Write 1,000 words on the new novel this week.
4) There are three places I’d like to submit to in the next few months, so I should work on those things:          
            a) poem using book titles, Aug 15 deadline
b) reflection for work calendar, Sept 15 deadline
            c) poem on aging, Oct 20 deadline
4) Non-writing things to do:
a. Scan a dozen of my mom’s old pictures into the computer.
b. Wash five of my house’s windows. I have a picnic here the end of the month and all the windows (just 12 of them) need to get washed before then!
c. Finish reading “On Writing” by Stephen King.
d. Repack all our Kenya merchandise. After a sale, it always gets packed up in a disorganized rush.